Monday, June 18, 2012

Symptoms of heartworms in dogs

It is fairly simple to notice flea infestation on your dog. What is more, once you get about it and are conscientious, it is fairly easy to get rid of it, too. However, there are other different parasites your pet may be infested with, which can lead to severe health problems and which, alas, are not that easily noticeable.

One of such parasites is heartworm. It is transmitted by parasites and, once it has invaded a pet's body, it may take it up to two years before any symptoms are visible. To make things worse, over the first six months no symptoms whatsoever are detectable, even in the vet's lab. Most often, the larvae settles in the heart and only once it has matured will any signs be noticeable. If, although rarely, the larvae end up in unusual areas, such as the eye, brain, or an artery in the leg, different results may be spotted, eg. blindness, seizures or lameness.

Symptoms of heartworms in dogs

Usually, however, the only symptoms that there are are difficult to notice, especially in dogs leading a sedentary lifestyle. One of the earlier symptoms is coughing (particularly after and during exercise), later weigh loss, fainting, counghing up blood and, finally, congestive heart failure.

If you suspect your pet has gone down with heartworms, call the vet immediately. The sooner you get about fighting these parasites, the better. Before any treatment is administered, your dog will have to be evaluated for heart, liver, and kidney function. All this is necessary to determine if the animal is strong enough for treatment.

Once your dog has finished treatment, it needs to rest a great deal for several weeks. This is essential so as to make sure no dead worms break lose and travel to the lungs, where they can cause respiratory failure and the animal's death.

To cheer you up a bit, there is a wide variety of drugs available which successfully prevent heartworm infestation. These include oral pill or tablet (ivermectin, milbemycin oxime) or topical liquid that the owner squeezes from a tube onto the pet's back (selamectin, moxidectin). However, before you start using any medicines, you had better have your dog tested for heartworm and consult a vet.


  1. I really enjoyed reading your article. I found this as an informative and interesting post, so i think it is very
    useful and knowledgeable. I would like to thank you for the effort you have made in writing this article.

  2. It is really difficult to believe that just a bite of mosquito can cause death of your pet. A bite of mosquito can infest your pets with heartworm disease which may cause serious illness or even lead to death if not diagnosed and treated at the correct time. To protect our pets Vets have came with the solution of prevention with the launch of Trifexis. It is prescribed by the Vets to be taken once in every month to obstruct the multiplication of heartworm and prevent the disease by killing the adult worms.

  3. Hearworm is preventable and if you love your pet, you'll buy those anti-heartworm prevention chewable tablets. I have a large Golden Retriever and I do buy the Heartgard plus for her. I think prevention costs cheaper than actually letting the vet treat the pet that is already afflicted with this deadly parasite. I've been reading a lot about heartworms and this site has a lot of tips and information for us to see. You can check it out at